The “chronically understaffed” New Jersey State Police must fill more than 1,000 vacancies to do its job effectively, a staffing study says. The Associated Press says the study suggests that it may take nine years to fill the positions. The ranks have been depleted by anti-terrorism activities; redeployments from regular assignments to fill gaps and new positions; the need to comply with a federal consent decree on racial profiling; and requests for troopers by other agencies.
The police stand at 2,717, but the study found 1,046 vacancies. Ken McClelland, president of the New Jersey State Police Fraternal Association, said, “I knew how bad it was (and) no one would ever put a number on exactly how many we need.” He told Millennium Radio News, which obtained the report, “It’s to the point where something’s going to happen, something tragic.”